Diversity Coach Enriches Curriculum


      West Haven High School math teacher Yvonne Daniels has started a new position as the school’s diversity coach to help teachers diversify their class material and curriculums.

     Ms. Daniels is passionate about helping teachers bring a diverse perspective to the curriculum in order to have a more inclusive and diverse learning environment for all students.

    “We have a huge gap between diverse backgrounds academically and socially all over the state of Connecticut,” Ms. Daniels said. “So I believe it is a job that needs to be filled.”

     Ms. Daniels is using this opportunity to form ways teachers can include a wide array of students from different backgrounds in their class content. She will do this by collaborating with teachers to open a conversation as to which materials may have biases.

      “Instead of teaching Black history and Hispanic history as separate pieces, the goal is to combine all facts about American history so they can be one culture,” she said.

      Many students and teachers have told Ms. Daniels they are excited about learning how more diversity can be taught inside the classroom.

     “I’m glad we have someone looking at our curriculum in this way,” said English teacher Abby Goodwin. Ms. Daniels has been helping English teachers teach different perspectives to show a more inclusive history, Ms. Goodwin said. “It has been very helpful to allow us to include multiple perspectives in our unit planning and teaching,” she added.

      Ms. Daniels said the biggest challenge is gaining a full understanding of what’s happening currently in classroom teachings so she can help enrich the curriculum, but not completely change it. Teaching diversity in the classroom is ultimately supposed to help all students understand their importance, no matter who they are or where they are from. Ms. Daniels said that she thinks students will start to thrive because the curriculum is their own.